Can spending help reduce business costs?

Businesses which are prepared to invest in new solutions can actually reap cost benefits in the long term. As the old adage goes, you sometimes have to spend money to save it. Businesses around the country may have spent much of the last five years in trench mode, investing only in the essentials as the…


6 top tips for managing your cashflow

Alarmingly, research last year by payments firm Bacs revealed that SMEs are owed £33.6bn in late payments. These are worrying statistics – especially with the increasing amounts of businesses that cannot survive cashflow problems caused by overdue payments. In fact, this lack of business “lifeblood” can have a disastrous impact; which is why managing cashflow…


Top Ten Invoicing Tips

Clinching a deal is a great feeling. Doing the job is a pleasure. But it’s not money in the bank until you’ve got paid for your efforts and, amazingly, plenty of small businesses still admit to not focussing enough on this crucial part of the process. Sometimes, it’s because we concentrate exclusively on sales -…


From the Shell Young Entrepreneur of the year: The growing importance of technology in transport

Guest post from Robert Matthams, founder of www.shiply.com] and recently named Shell Young Entrepreneur of the Year and BT Entrepreneur of the Year.  The importance of technology to delivery companies cannot be understated.  The days of paper proof of delivery and sign on the dotted line have been and gone.    Despite many misconceptions that…


Lessons I didn’t learn until I ran my own business

A big welcome to a new guest blogger: Glen Feechan is Chief Executive of Spreadsheets by Email and author of the Not Just Numbers blog). He is a Chartered Accountant by profession and provides spreadsheet solutions, large and small, to a worldwide client base. He’ll be providing some great Excel tips in future blogs, mixed…


SMB Advisory Panel & effects of Govt spending review

The Small Business Advisory Panel met last week to discuss the implications of the Government’s spending review on Small Businesses.  Panellists included:   Tanya Shirlow, Head of Small Business, Microsoft SMB UK Stephen Pegge, Communications Director, Lloyds TSB Commercial Henry Eldelbaum, Director of AIMS, Accountants for Businesses Vicki Owen, Mail on Sunday The panel focused…


SMEs and the General Election

 Microsoft hosted the latest quarterly SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Advisory Panel a couple of weeks ago, and the topic was – not unnaturally – the possible implications of the election on small businesses. Panellists included: Robert Epstein, Head of Small Business, Microsoft SMB UK Stephen Pegge, Communications Director, Lloyds TSB Commercial Stephen Alambritis, Head…


Funding for small business: guest post from Howard Graham

Guest blog from Howard Graham, CEO and Founder of The Made Simple Group and member of the BBC’s Small Business Panel of Experts. All opinions stated are the author’s own.   A headline article in the Daily Mail, dated 16 February, headed “Small firms left to starve” suggests that 60% of businesses are still being…


Need a loan? Try the RBS

Trying to attract new customers, the RBS has opened up its hotline to non-customers for the first time. Under pressure from the government to hit Treasury lending targets, the 70% taxpayer-owned bank has around 30% of the UK’s small business lending market but is looking for more. Some of the bank’s most experienced business bankers…


New UK bank to focus on smaller businesses

Just come across this story from the FT, published earlier this month. Apparently plans are afoot to establish a retail bank specifically for small and medium-sized businesses struggling to obtain funds.   “The group intends to set up a business based around traditional banking methods, drawing in deposits to cover its lending, rather than relying…